About the Area
Visit Kitchener’s Memorial
A monument built by the people of Orkney to Lord Kitchener who died when H.M.S Hampshire hit a mine and sank of the coast of Marwick in 1916.
A Neolithic stone-built settlement at the Bay of Skaill. It dates from 3200BC - 2200BC and consists of eight dwellings joined together by low covered passages. It had been protected by sand which had covered and preserved it for 4000 years until a storm in 1850 uncovered an outline of stone buildings. It is now part of the World Heritage Site in Orkney along with Maeshowe, the Ring of Brodgar and The Standing Stones of Stenness.
The Broch of Gurness in Evie
It was built in the Iron Age as a fortress, then continued to be occupied by the Picts and then by the Vikings but lastly as domestic dwellings. A worthwhile visit!
A short distance away in the village near the Brough of Birsay is the ruins of the Earl’s Palace. Earl Robert Stewart built it in the 16th Century. He was a recognised illegitimate son of James V, King of Scotland and he became the 1st Earl of Orkney. He was not a pleasant man, who forced Orcadians under his rule to work without pay and either jailing or torturing those who would not comply with his wishes. His son Patrick (who built the Earl’s Palace in Kirkwall) ruled in the same way as his father. These were the bleakest times in Orkney’s history.
Bird watchers and Walkers
To enjoy Marwick head, park your car in the car park and walk up to the cliffs edge. The seabird colony (which is the third largest in Orkney) comprises of razorbills, kittiwakes, guillemots and fulmars. Puffins can be occasionally spotted too.
The Loons are the largest remaining wetlands in Orkney where you can see many wading birds such as ducks, lapwings, snipe and curlews.
On Burgar Hill you can see nesting red-throated divers from the bird hide. The birds seem to be living quite happily amongst the wind turbines that have been built up there. On Birsay Moors you can see nesting hen harriers, short-eared owls and arctic skuas.
Brough of Birsay
The Brough of Birsay is a tidal island and has early Christian and Norse settlements on it. The unmanned lighthouse on the Brough was built in 1925. Seals and eider ducks can often be seen on the shore whilst crossing to the Brough. Puffins can sometimes be seen along the high cliffs.
Within easy reach of the hotel are the main fishing lochs of Harray, Swanney and Hundland. Our hotel sits on the edge of the Boardhouse Loch and has surpassed both Harray and Swanney as Orkney's top fishing loch for the past 3 years as quoted by Malcolm Russell's monthly reports in the Trout & Salmon
Fishing in Orkney is free but we recommend that fishers join the Orkney Trout Fishing Association as the Association stocks all the lochs and they provide toilets facilities on all main lochs. The fish Caught are wild brown trout; there am no rainbows here!
The flies sold in the hotel are specially tied for Orkney loch, and are tied locally by Eric Dyson (an ex Benson & Hedges fly tying champion).
Fish caught can be frozen on the premises and smoking can be arranged.
Boat hire and ghillies are available for all lochs at a moderate cost.